Emotions Recollected in Tranquility
Story of the Poor
A while ago, I was returning home in a rickshaw. The rickshaw puller happened to be a very old man. I came to know that he was a very poor farmer and that for a very long time he used to work in people's fields. The SIDR killed all the cattle that he had and incidentally the owner of the land, where the farmer worked, was sold off to a telecom company. Unemployed for months, he decided to come to Dhaka and look for work. He began to pull a rickshaw and live on the footpath. Very soon his family was going to come to the capital as well, since he could not send anything to them in the village. I was saddened by this and tried to give him some extra money. His story is an everyday-story, where most of the poor people have been victims. The poor people seem to get poorer every other day. I hope that the authorities will look into this problem and come to a solution.
Md Mahbubur Rahman
European Standard School
Having spent some years abroad, when I came to Bangladesh, my family took me to an English medium school to be admitted in class nine. The principal of that school wasn't willing to admit me in class nine, as a student in his school had to decide from class eight whether he/ she would study in Arts or Science. He wanted me to get admitted in class eight once again. When my family failed to convince the principal, one of my family members mentioned that since I was good in English, it would not be hard for me to catch up. Hearing this, the principal sarcastically said “English diye to aar pet bhorbe na! (knowing only English wouldn't fill one's stomach). So she has to start from class eight.” We left the school and went to another reputed school where I got admitted in class nine.
Finishing my school and college life, I completed my M A in English from the University of Dhaka and joined a private university as a Lecturer in English. Suddenly one day I saw an ad in a newspaper looking for an English teacher for senior section in the same school where I wanted to get admitted as a child. I applied and got selected as a part - time English teacher. Inwardly I was longing to see the principal and let him know that after all these years, I am earning a living with a high salary and filling my stomach teaching English after all, and that too in the same school where I was rejected sixteen years ago.
Under the Umbrella
The other day, I got out of my house in Savar and got on a Super Bus to go to Karwan Bazaar to my university. As is my habit, I always check the windowpanes, the conditions of the seat and similar details when I get on a bus. That day, after reaching Gabtoli, it began to rain. That is when all the passengers, including me, discovered the leaking roof! The rainwater was seeping in through the roof and dripping on us. After a short while, a milder version of the strong rainfall began on the bus. I realized that after getting on the bus, I would have to check the rooftops as well! As all the passengers tried to save themselves from the this downpour, one girl was trying desperately not to get wet and trying out all sorts of things to get away from the rain. She would move left and then shift a little to the right and then forward, but in vain. Finally, she took out her umbrella and opened it on top of her head. This really amused all the passengers. The use of the umbrella on the bus was really a new picture for all the passengers.
Ferdous Iqbal Chowdhury
Department of English
Northern University, Dhaka
(R) thedailystar.net 2007